Last Summer (2013) I had the pleasure of attending Hacker School where I met Tom. Tom and I spent a good chunk of the summer hacking on projects together and, towards the end the summer, we decided to create an email marketing tool. We’re the perfect combo: Tom’s been in the email marketing industry for a while and I’ve been a marketer (whatever that means) for 3+ years.
After a few days of hacking, a really rough prototype of MailCharts was born. (I’ll explain our development approach in another post.)
Build it, they will come…
… said no successful entrepreneur ever. If you’re reading this, you’re likely to know the importance of user feedback. Building something in a silo is the best way to build something nobody wants.
The problem is, nobody cares about your product. Seriously. Getting feedback is wayyy more difficult than your average blog post makes it seem.
Why? Because not only do you need to find people interested in your product or service, but you also need to find users that are supportive (new ideas can be a fragile thing), willing to trust you and — ideally — willing to pay for your product or service.
See, not easy!
Meet Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a really simple (and beautiful) website where community members post new products or services. Once something is posted, the community can upvote it and share their thoughts.
Before posting MailCharts on Product Hunt, I asked Ryan if he thought it’d be a good fit.
A few minutes later the post went live. Sweet frijoles Batman! Never have I seen a community that is so supportive, welcoming and full of constructive criticism.
Product Hunt is all about the community
We received tons of support and valuable insights — and even got to connect with a few companies interested in using our public API (when it becomes available).
Here’s a few comments:
Charge a credit card, you must
Your most valuable feedback will come from customers (notice the “monetary consideration” part). Fremium might work for some but, IMO, free users are not necessarily a good representation of those willing to pay for what you offer.
So, how did MailCharts do?
Quick math: Assuming new users stay with MailCharts for 10 months (we have no historical data), Product Hunt drove $8,700 in sales ($29 10 months 30 customers = $8,700).
Buuuuut, much more important than new user count, we received tons of actionable feedback. One thing is clear: Product Hunt drives quality traffic!
My experience with Product Hunt has been amazing. Hats off to Ryan and his team for building such a great product and community — you’re doing it right!
If you’re looking to discover the best new products, head over to Product Hunt and sign up. An incredible community awaits!